Low Down

Director: Jeff Preiss
Screenwriters: Amy-Jo Albany, Topper Lilien

Institute History


Cinematography Award: U. S. Dramatic

Told through the wise eyes of his young daughter, Amy, Low Down chronicles the torrid, true life of jazz pianist Joe Albany. Born into her beloved father’s unorthodox segment of society, Amy’s improvisational adolescence evolves in the shadow of Joe’s struggle between his musical genius and a suffocating heroin addiction. As young Amy sifts through the demimonde of artists, musicians, and vagabonds who permeate her apartment building, she attempts to cling to the deep-rooted love she shares with her deteriorating father. As she emerges into adulthood, she is forced to define her own identity, separate from her father’s troubles.

Set against a sensuously textured 1970s Hollywood, Jeff Preiss’s deeply melodic film weaves effortlessly through time, transporting us through Amy and Joe’s journey with graceful confidence. But the bedrock of this film is the remarkable performances from Elle Fanning and John Hawkes, whose tender portrayals of Amy and Joe draw the audience into the powerful and unique love between a father and his daughter.

— Toby Brooks

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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